BEFORE I DIE: 7 (The Doctor’s Appointment)

BEFORE I DIE: 7 (The Doctor’s Appointment)

Just call me angel of the morning, baby

 Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby…

Juice Newton’s version of Angel Of The Morning is playing on the radio when I wake up.

The day for my doctor’s appointment is finally here. It is my first appointment. Some days before my appointment, mum called me on phone and gave me pre-appointment counseling. She was like –

Mum: Bobby, when you reach the hospital, dey patient o. Person wey dey go Teaching Hospital dey get patience.

Me: Okay, ma.

Mum: No be small thing them do you, you vex waka comot. Nah you need the help o.

Me: Mummy, I know.

Mum: Ehen! Just bring ya mind down. Dey do like mumu until you get wetin you want. You hear?

Me: Yes ma.

Mum knows me very well. She knows I am not much of a patient person, and I snap easily. Two statements I hate most are, “Wait for me, I’m coming” and “Please join the queue.” I’d rather you wait for me to come or I come back when you’re free.

I wake up quite early because I know what visiting a Teaching Hospital is like. I leave my house by 7:10am, and before 7:45am, I am at the hospital. The environment is quite scanty for a Teaching Hospital. It is like a scene from a Resident Evil movie. I walk into the lobby, and sit down at a spot. I observe for a while. I notice how people walk to a window and obtain a blue teller before they go on about any business they came for. I follow suit. I walk to the window and I obtain a teller for N500. I watch other blue-teller holders walk through a door with “DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY MEDICINE” written boldly above it. As I walk in, I notice they are all handing their tellers to a guy sitting at a desk.

I am about to rate the guy on my cuteness scale of 1 – 10. But the face…something is wrong with that face. And then, I realize that I know the face. It belongs to Amakiri, my fellow corper. I immediately turn around and walk out.

He even scores 3 on my scale. Mtcheeeeewww!

I walk down the hall, till I meet a doctor walking toward me. I know I have a charming smile, so I quickly put one on.

Me: Hello, good morning.

Doctor: Good morning. How can I help you?

I don’t want to start talking about my status on the corridor like that, so I just hand him my lab result. He goes through it.

Doctor: Okay, this is what you’ll do. Go there… (He points towards the direction where I am just coming from) Tell them you want to see a doctor. When it’s your turn, he will guide you. Have you been counseled?

Me: Uhm…yes?

The doctor smiles at my response.

Doctor: Just go there…

I simply nod my head.

Me: One more thing, please. The place you asked me to go to, is it like a place for HIV patients?

Doctor: No, they will refer you to the special clinic from there.

Me: Okay. Thank you.

There is no way I can dodge Amakiri now. I comfort myself with the fact that at least he isn’t going to know what I am here for.

I walk to Amakiri’s desk and greet him, as I tender my teller to him. He demands a consultancy few of N500. I pay and I’m given a number. Throughout our exchange, I keep on a stony expression to discourage any small talk. I go to the waiting room and settle down. I do my best to wait. I almost leave the hospital at some point. Apparently there is a meeting going on, and we are informed the doctors won’t start seeing patients till 10:00 am. It is already 10:45. It is the thought of mum that gave me the fortitude to wait. I have to do this for her.

It is 11:20 when the doctors dismiss from their stupid meeting. They all walk out from the meeting room and up to Amakiri’s table, to share patient folders amongst themselves. I don’t know who picks mine, but my prayer is for it not to be a female doctor. I wait patiently as names are called. My patience is growing thin, and my phone battery is dying out. I get anxious when my phone is about to die. I really don’t know why.

Finally my name is called.

I walk into the consulting room, and it is a male doctor. He offers me a seat and asks me what my problem is. I tell him I was just diagnosed with HIV, and I don’t know where to start from or what to do. He refers me to the “Special Clinic”. That’s what they call it these days.

I walk into the “Special Clinic”. And all the consulting rooms are empty, except one. In it sits a doctor, a cute, muscular, light-skinned man, in his late thirties, I guess. He is sitting with a lady, and they are talking and eating fruits. I sit outside, where he can see me, so he’ll know someone is waiting. After a while, they both walk out, and start past me like I am not there. I heed mum’s advice and ignore the impoliteness. I call for his attention.

Me: Excuse me! Can I talk to you privately?

Doctor: What’s the problem?

Me: I was referred here from the other clinic…

I hand him the documents I have in my hands. He goes through them.

Doctor: Okay, you’re in the right place. But the problem is this, first of all, the special clinic only runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then secondly, we are on strike. So I really don’t know how to help you. But just come back tomorrow being Tuesday.

I simply thank him and walk away. All the time I spent waiting, just gone like that. I am pissed. I get on a taxi home. When I alight from the taxi, the driver gives me a torn fifty naira note and zooms off. I want to chase after him, then I picture how crazy I’ll look.

I shrug it off and walk into my compound. I am about to open my door, when the landlady stops me at my door and demands my quota of the monthly NEPA bill. Inside me, I leap with joy. Finally, I have found someone to vent my anger on.

Landlady: Brother o, welcome. We dey collect money for NEPA bill o.

I ignore her and continue opening my door to go inside.

Landlady: Sir? Sir o… (She walks up to my door)

Me: So, if I enter house before I give you the money, NEPA no go collect am again? By the way, where the one wey we pay last month? Light we never see, you dey come collect another one. No be our light wey NEPA cut so?

I shut my door in the face of the startled woman, and moments later, I come out with briefs on. I start knocking on the doors of fellow tenants.

Tenant 1: Wetin happen?

Tenant 2: Bobby, how far?

Me: When last we pay NEPA bill abeg? Since then, light don come?

Tenant 2: (Turns to Tenant 1) Shebi I been tell you? I been reason the same thing o, I just been no wan talk.

Me: Now she dey say make we pay again… wey the one we don pay? We want to see the receipt.

Landlady: Wetin go happen be say, we go call meeting this evening.

Me: Which meeting? I no dey attend any yeye meeting. And if anybody knock for my door for evening, e go be me and that person. As I never even enter house, you hook me for outside to bring NEPA bill, na so NEPA tell you to do? See, all this rubbish wey dey happen for this lodge… We go pay NEPA bill, light we no go see… When we contribute money to pump water, tank no go full, fuel go finish… Make e stop today o. Because person dey keep quiet for una since…

Tenant 2: Bobby e don do, no vex…

Me: I never even enter house, she just mount me for outside like say I dey owe her. Which kind of rubbish be that?

Landlady: Oga sorry o, abeg no vex, my mind no reach there.

Me: How your mind go reach there, when na money you wan chop.

Tenant 1: Bobby! Relax nah. No worry, we go talk am for night.

Me: Make I enter bathroom first. If water no run, na there trouble go dey. Cause we contribute money to pump water this morning.

I storm off back inside, to my bathroom and turn the shower on. Fortunately for her, water poured forth from the shower. I have vented my anger. I feel a little bit relieved. I take my bath, pick my laptop and leave my house. I usually sit down at a fast-food to write, till evening.

When it is getting late, I leave for my house. When I walk into the compound, there is a meeting going on. I simply throw out a greeting and walk on by. I go into my room, turn my laptop on, and start watching Empire, my current favourite TV show.

 Written by Bobby

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41 Comments

  1. Dennis Macauley
    March 10, 08:12 Reply

    I know that feeling; when you are so angry that you are shopping for scape goats and mother nature delivers one lol

    I am a bit confused now, i thought you lived at home with your parents or did i miss something?

    • Queen Blue Fox
      March 10, 08:16 Reply

      I’ll kill you Dennis Ahhhhh! the day I thought I’d get first sit, you come and steal it! *tears weave on and storms out*

  2. Queen Blue Fox
    March 10, 08:14 Reply

    Yay first to comment!
    Now I have that patience issue too, ahhhh I cannot come and be waiting for you naa, it’s not possible! abeg, get der n call me biko mscheeew!

  3. Blaq
    March 10, 08:21 Reply

    Yeah…. I thought you lived with your parents too…
    Great read all the same!

    • pinkpanthertb
      March 10, 08:23 Reply

      He’s a youth corper who was at home during the time of the confirmation of his status. Well, was a youth corper.

  4. Weirdo
    March 10, 08:30 Reply

    Wait! Wait! Wait oh! You came out with just your briefs? As in those skin hugging spandex types! Is so right! And come self, you were even checking ppl SBI docs out! You self!

  5. Chizzie
    March 10, 08:57 Reply

    Angel in the morning is the closest u can get to a song abt a one night stand that doesn’t come across as lewd. I wish song writers of today will take a leaf from Juice, u must’nt be so blatant, you can sing about a penis w/o being so explicit and literal! *side eyeing the Bee hive*

    and the whole tenant/nepa bill squabble thing is very reminiscent of face-me – face u compounds. not so?

    on more poignant issue’s ; our health care system is a massive joke, and needs a complete overhaul, with constant strikes and nonchalant medical staff. I feel really bad for Nigerians living here. This country sucks donkey ass

    • Legalkoboko
      March 10, 10:29 Reply

      ” This country sucks donkey ass”.
      Dam! From where do you get these funny expressions? Lol.

  6. Pete
    March 10, 10:34 Reply

    Nigerian Teaching hospitals are the last places you should go to for succor. If you can afford it,private hospitals are the way to go

  7. Teflondon
    March 10, 10:36 Reply

    Interesting read.. Tho need to be said.. I think the story is going off course. The whole Nepa bill issh and all that. I thought the story was suppose to be about letting us know how it felt being HIV. Maybe I am wrong but I was a bit bored reading this particular edition. I am sure you’ll better next time. No trill, No suspense, no lessons to be learned. I got nothing from this piece. Absolutely nothing.
    N.B first time commenter, tho I have been a kdain

    • Gad
      March 10, 11:40 Reply

      @ Teflondon, at least today’s article achieved one thing. It drew you out of the “closet “. Wish to see more of you

      • Teflondon
        March 10, 11:50 Reply

        @ GAD who says I was in the closet after all. I just didn’t fancy commenting. But I do enjoy reading this blog and the comments there after. Interesting much I must say. And yeah, Henceforth you will see more of me. Nice to meet you too.

        • Gad
          March 10, 12:15 Reply

          Observations noted. Thanks

  8. simba
    March 10, 10:48 Reply

    Bobby u know I love u… but I disagree with how u painted Drs and Nigeria Govt Hospitals. The system is bad, but the problem aint Drs. Its Govt and management. But from experience HIV related stuffs are better handled in NGOS, I volunteer in some NGOs so I know. Also I like de part u wore ur brief to knock on ur neighbours doors.. wished u had knocked on mine

      • simba
        March 10, 12:07 Reply

        Judge not Pinky… freely was it given to Bobby, freely shall he give to Simba.. may the house chorus Amen.. Amen..

  9. Max
    March 10, 10:56 Reply

    Ok first of all, some days are like that.. Some days, things just keep falling apart and there’s nothing you can do to it.
    2ndly, you have anger issues which you need to sort out. Lashing out on people all the time isn’t the best. I had anger management issues too, but I’m getting better (still a work in progress)…
    Nice piece overall.

  10. victor
    March 10, 11:26 Reply

    this post was so entertaining,just couldnt take my eyes off reading and i love your sense of humour. Love u bobby

    • Teflondon
      March 10, 11:55 Reply

      @ victor Entertaining.. Really? Sense of humor? Lol okay I’m new here so I don’t want to be seen as dramatic. I do acknowledge the efforts put into the articles no doubt but this piece particularly nothing of what you mentioned.

      • simba
        March 10, 12:12 Reply

        Mr tefflindon..Oga, maybe he is seeing wht u ain’t seeing..or he reads in Arabic or Russian… or have a different perception.. choi.. trouble deh on his own, iyanga go wake am up…

    • Bobby
      March 10, 12:54 Reply

      Why do I keep seeing sadists everywhere I go?

      • Gad
        March 10, 17:19 Reply

        I don’t know the places you go to or the people you meet but I’m sure that if you take proper inventory,you will realise that those who have kind thoughts towards you far out number the sadists. Even some of the people you regard as sadists might actually be friends in the real sense of the word.

  11. Sinnex
    March 10, 13:27 Reply

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Teflondon. Now, let it not be seem as if I find your issue entertaining. I just think that the inclusion of NEPA and Landlord issue wasn’t really impressive. I am following this piece because I want to know about your struggle with HIV. I want to know how it feels like to be HIV positive and also gay at the same time.

    Now, I might be wrong, or maybe I am expecting too much, but today’s piece seemed like just another story to me….

    • Teflondon
      March 10, 14:31 Reply

      @sinnex I can’t but agree with you more.. I mean that’s the essence of this series Init? To have a little bit of an idea how it feels to be living with HIV and Be gay.. I actually enjoyed the previous episodes of this series. The previous articles were mind blogging and lit my heart up in so many ways I can’t describe with words. Hence My very high expectations when I read this piece but to my dismay I read from the beginning of this piece through to the end looking for something, just that something that I could hold on to, some sort of feeling I have gotten after reading each previous episode but I got nothing from this. This is just how I feel. But altogether considering previous episodes and the fact that it’s not fictional but a real life event. Illd say bobby has done well.. Kudos (but who am I to give you acknowledgements, not like it matters to you) cheers.

  12. keredim69
    March 10, 14:11 Reply

    Yo Teflondon & Sinnex, maybe you should read his earlier posts. They subtly convey how he feels about being “HIV positive & Gay” . He doesn’t have to be stark and gloomy all the time due to his status. He needs some sunshine in his life to push away the darkness.

    If that means chopping the head off some airy fairy landlady on the quest to collect money from improverished youth coppers and pour down the bottomless pitiless pit that is NEPA, then so be it.

    Quit the Simon Cowell act, this is no SYCO production.

      • Teflondon
        March 10, 14:43 Reply

        @keredim I do get your point but Please kindly read my reply to @ sinnex so you will understand my point of view.

        And why do I have this tingly feeling.. I and @pinkpanther wouldn’t get along too often. Calm down, I ain’t trying to discourage the writer or put anyone down. I am just being me (realist, I’ll say it as I see it) which I feel it’s good for your blog.. Variety of individualism is welcomed on here I presume.
        P.S I am saying this based your gratitude to keredims comments.
        @bobby regardless of what I have said earlier. I love your persona. Keep up the good wrk. Cheers mate.

    • Bobby
      March 10, 14:27 Reply

      Keredim I owe u a drink. ..chapman perhaps?…we could even share and talk about boys. ..some boys.

      • Bobby
        March 10, 14:41 Reply

        I intend to Darling **wearing a Victoria Grayson smile**

    • sinnex
      March 11, 15:28 Reply

      Well, I guess I would just change my expectation and perception. It is not difficult. Thanks for explaining. I just felt it was going to be something different….

  13. posh666
    March 10, 20:02 Reply

    Lol i really luv d drama btw u n ur land lady..and going to knock on door to door lmaoooo the devil in u.was ready to come out had anybody mayarned.

  14. tinocompadre
    March 10, 21:31 Reply

    Sometimes I just find d comments more entertaining than the story itself. The drama is quite funny. Pity I always come last to comment. Meanwhile, I feel your posts all d time n I always look forward to it cos I know what it feels like being in your shoe.

  15. Brian Collins
    March 12, 00:05 Reply

    All these small minded people who want to only see how bro cries whenever he thinks about being HIV positive. How does his squabble with the landlady not show how he is dealing with being positive? Me i see someone who is positive and went to seek help but did not readily get it and so saw an avenue to vent and took it. TEFLONBOSS abi naDON, there are so many seats lying around, abeg grab one and SIDON!!!

    • Gad
      March 12, 02:29 Reply

      Are you not being too generous with this your seat offerings?

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